Fasting Guidelines

Eating and drinking instructions before surgery, diagnostic testing and/or sedation. 

If you choose not to follow these instructions, your child’s surgery, diagnostic testing, and/or sedation, may be delayed or canceled. 

If the child is vomiting or has a cough, fever or flu symptoms the day before or the day of the scheduled procedure, please call your physician. The procedure may need to be rescheduled.

Eating and drinking instructions before coming to St. John's Children's Hospital

Eight hours before procedure: Stop all solid foods, candy, gum, greasy, oily, buttery, creamy foods, beef, chicken, pork and fish. This also includes fast food. 

Six hours before procedure: Stop milk products, formula, orange juice and juices containing pulp.

Four hours before procedure: Stop breastfeeding. 

Three hours before procedure: Stop all clear liquids. Clear liquids include: water, Kool-Aid®, apple juice, Popsicles®, Jell-O®, Pedialyte® and Infalite®. Formula, breast milk, orange juice and juices containing pulp are not considered clear liquids. 

It also is important to: 

  • Take any medications, including antibiotics, as directed.
  • Bring guardianship documents for the child to the hospital.

Print these instructions


If you have any questions about what your child can eat or drink before surgery please call:

217-814-8244 between 6:30 am -  5 pm, Monday-Friday 

217-544-6464 ext. 72340 between 5 - 10 pm, Monday-Friday

Or contact your physician for further instructions.